GM boss faces questions over Vauxhall jobs

Union leaders will today press a top executive of car giant General Motors for assurances about jobs at Vauxhall factories in the UK.

Leaders of Unite will hold talks with Nick Reilly, the US firm's head of operations in Europe, who will meet Business Secretary Lord Mandelson.

The meetings will be the first chance unions and the Government will have to ask detailed questions to GM over its future plans since the car maker decided not to sell its European operations, including Vauxhall.

Mr Reilly will be pressed about GM's long-term plans for the Luton and Ellesmere Port plants, which employ thousands of workers.

He has said that decisions about the future of plants across Europe should be taken by next month.

The Government has said it will consider offering financial support to help secure the future of Vauxhall.

Unite's joint leader, Tony Woodley, will seek assurances over the future of Vauxhall's 5,500 UK workers, although some job losses are expected as GM moves to cut costs.

GM had struck a deal with Canadian car parts maker Magna to sell its European business, which was set to cost hundreds of jobs in the UK.

The German government had pledged to give Magna three billion euros in loan guarantees to help secure German factories.

But GM suddenly cancelled the sale earlier this month in the face of an "improving business environment" for the firm.

GM announced in the United States yesterday that it would start paying back its government loans earlier than expected, making its first payment of 1.2 billion dollars (£717 million) to the US government next month, years ahead of schedule.

Fritz Henderson, GM's president and chief executive, would not comment on the number of likely job cuts expected from a restructuring of the Opel and Vauxhall business in Europe, which employ around 54,000 workers.

But he gave a vote of confidence in the Ellesmere Port plant, which has just started production of the new Astra model.

"Ellesmere Port is the lead plant building our new Astra. If that's not a better signal about the future of the plant, I don't know what is.

"I've been there a number of times and the team has done a remarkable job. We feel very good about the plant - so good that we made it the lead plant for the Astra. Actions speak louder than words."

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
News
ebookA unique anthology of reporting and analysis of a crucial period of history
Arts and Entertainment
Reimagined: Gwyneth Paltrow and Toni Collette in the film adaptation of Jane Austen's Emma
books
Arts and Entertainment
Jesuthasan Antonythasan as Dheepan
Cannes 2015Dheepan, film review
Sport
sport
News
Richard Blair is concerned the trenches are falling into disrepair
newsGeorge Orwell's son wants to save war site that inspired book
Arts and Entertainment
The pair in their heyday in 1967
music
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Money & Business

Guru Careers: Software Developer / C# Developer

£40-50K: Guru Careers: We are seeking an experienced Software / C# Developer w...

Neil Pavier: Management Accountant

£45,000 - £55,000: Neil Pavier: Are you looking for your next opportunity for ...

Sheridan Maine: Commercial Accountant

£45,000 - £55,000: Sheridan Maine: Are you a newly qualified ACA/ACCA/ACMA qua...

Laura Norton: Project Accountant

£50,000 - £60,000: Laura Norton: Are you looking for an opportunity within a w...

Day In a Page

Abuse - and the hell that came afterwards

Abuse - and the hell that follows

James Rhodes on the extraordinary legal battle to publish his memoir
Why we need a 'tranquility map' of England, according to campaigners

It's oh so quiet!

The case for a 'tranquility map' of England
'Timeless fashion': It may be a paradox, but the industry loves it

'Timeless fashion'

It may be a paradox, but the industry loves it
If the West needs a bridge to the 'moderates' inside Isis, maybe we could have done with Osama bin Laden staying alive after all

Could have done with Osama bin Laden staying alive?

Robert Fisk on the Fountainheads of World Evil in 2011 - and 2015
New exhibition celebrates the evolution of swimwear

Evolution of swimwear

From bathing dresses in the twenties to modern bikinis
Sun, sex and an anthropological study: One British academic's summer of hell in Magaluf

Sun, sex and an anthropological study

One academic’s summer of hell in Magaluf
From Shakespeare to Rising Damp... to Vicious

Frances de la Tour's 50-year triumph

'Rising Damp' brought De la Tour such recognition that she could be forgiven if she'd never been able to move on. But at 70, she continues to flourish - and to beguile
'That Whitsun, I was late getting away...'

Ian McMillan on the Whitsun Weddings

This weekend is Whitsun, and while the festival may no longer resonate, Larkin's best-loved poem, lives on - along with the train journey at the heart of it
Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath in a new light

Songs from the bell jar

Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath
How one man's day in high heels showed him that Cannes must change its 'no flats' policy

One man's day in high heels

...showed him that Cannes must change its 'flats' policy
Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Dominic Rossi of Fidelity says his pressure on business to control rewards is working. But why aren’t other fund managers helping?
The King David Hotel gives precious work to Palestinians - unless peace talks are on

King David Hotel: Palestinians not included

The King David is special to Jerusalem. Nick Kochan checked in and discovered it has some special arrangements, too
More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years

End of the Aussie brain drain

More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years
Meditation is touted as a cure for mental instability but can it actually be bad for you?

Can meditation be bad for you?

Researching a mass murder, Dr Miguel Farias discovered that, far from bringing inner peace, meditation can leave devotees in pieces
Eurovision 2015: Australians will be cheering on their first-ever entrant this Saturday

Australia's first-ever Eurovision entrant

Australia, a nation of kitsch-worshippers, has always loved the Eurovision Song Contest. Maggie Alderson says it'll fit in fine